Micheál Martin 'fed up' with excuses as Children's Hospital delays continue

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
By Daniel McConnell
Political Editor

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he is “angry” and “annoyed” by delays to building works recommencing at the National Children's Hospital.

He said he is “fed up” with the excuses and called on all those involved to resolve the differences and “get back on the site”.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Mr Martin made clear he wants builders to “get back on-site” saying work has recommenced on sites all over the country.

“I'm quite annoyed at what has transpired here in the sense that why is it the Children's Hospital site, one of the few only sites where worked hasn't recommenced. to work has recommenced on construction sites all across the country. People have got back to building. It's unacceptable, in my view, what has happened here. And I would say to people to get back on site and start building the children's hospital,” he said.

Mr Martin said a lot of investment has already gone into the project so far.

“The only objective has ever been that the children of Ireland would have a first-class, and health facility that could really genuinely cater for them, cared for our children in a world-class environment.” 

“I'm angry about this, and I think they should get back on the site. I'm not interested in excuses.

"I'm not interested in what people are saying and blaming. If they have the interests of the children of Ireland at heart. They should get back on the side and stop.

"That's my message. I know that that's that's the point it, I'm fed up a claim and counterclaim. and I'm saying to people get back on this site, start working,” he said.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, speaking at the same event echoed what the Taoiseach said in urging a speedy resolution to the dispute which has halted progress.

“My response is to please get back on site. My response is that that on pretty much every building site across the country contractors and builders are back on site. I met with the chair and chief executive board this morning. I am confident that they are doing an excellent job,” he said.

“I very much want to see the contractor back on site. There are ongoing issues, there always will be between boards and developers, there are processes in place for those to be resolved.

"The very clear messages, please get back on site, the children environments need a new Children's Hospital, and I don't see how anything is served by this ongoing delay,” he added.

Update: BAM, who are building the hospital, say construction will resume on Monday.

A BAM spokesman said: “BAM has confirmed to the Hospital Board that it intends to resume works on site from Monday next.

"It does this in good faith, following robust communication with the Board and in the interest of completing the project as quickly and economically as possible.

"Work will recommence with the safety of all stakeholders as the top priority and with full implementation of the Government’s mandatory Covid-19 restrictions. We look forward to a successful resumption and getting this vital project moving, notwithstanding all of the challenges that are not of our making”.